back to article Giving mobile users the applications they want is child's play

Working on the move has become most people's normal way of operating. We are used to having our world in our pocket and being able to read and write emails, produce simple documents and generally stay in the corporate loop whether we are in the office, in the pub, on a train or (sadly) sitting on a beach trying to be on holiday …

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  1. Bob Vistakin
    Linux

    Alternatively

    Like most real-world companies, just ignore windows mobile seeing as it has no users.

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Alternatively

      "just ignore windows mobile"

      Of course - it's been pretty much abandoned since 2011.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alternatively

      No users? Well, if you exclude small organisations like the US Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, Royal Mail, Deutsche Post and many other postal/parcel companies around the world, then yes, it has no users. Basically, the chances are that when you sign for something at the door on a mobile device, it's running Windows Mobile 6.x. There's also a large number of Windows Mobile devices in use every day worldwide capturing wholesale deliveries to shops, but of course they aren't so visible to the public.

      Yes of course that's a tiny market compared with the consumer smartphone market, but Enterprise Mobility will be a tiny market for a number of years yet. And yes, Android is making very significant inroads into this market, but it's too early to say whether Windows Phone 8.x and its Enterprise-targeted variant Windows Embedded 8.x Handheld will change that.

      1. Stuart 22

        Re: Alternatively

        True but US Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, Royal Mail, Deutsche Post are unlikely to figure as my clients for their app development. And their devices are most likely locked into their own system so they won't be able to access any apps I write for others whether Windows compliant or not.

        So its Android and IOS. Well just Android if I have to choose. And to correct the original piece Android Studio installed dead simply on my Kubuntu system. My first app "Doh Register!" will be coming to a Play Store near you real soon ;-)

      2. Bob Vistakin
        Happy

        Re: Alternatively

        Ok then, well lets just make it no users and getting fewer every day, with whatever variant of garbage microsoft are ruining perfectly good phone hardware with.

        1. RyokuMas Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Alternatively

          1) Decrease in market share != fewer users

          2) Once you apply a piracy rate of up anything up to 95%, only about 4% (at worst case) of the total smartphone market can be deemed "Profitable Android"...

          ... add to that the huge overheads of fragmentation etc. and it's no wonder that serious developers are quitting Android development.

  2. Andy Barker

    Other options

    As a lazy programmer, I recently started using Basic4Android to develop a small app for my own specific requirements. Language is similar to VB6, is translated to Java then compiled.

    Works really well for my needs, may do for yours. The guy that wrote it started with a version for the old Windows Mobile, now does a version for Android and recently iOS.

  3. Pete 61

    A single language for all platforms does exist.

    “If you are developing something for customers to use then in an ideal world you would support all three platforms, but since there is no single language that works on all three you find yourself having to employ either multi-skilled developers (a scarce resource) or more bodies, each of which has more focused skills.”

    Not exactly accurate, AppMethod (http://www.appmethod.com) provides a mobile development platform where you design & write in a single language and then compile to multiple platforms.

    No affiliation with the product or company but have played with it over the trial period and successfully compiled for iOS and Android. You need to know a different language from what the native compilers use (Object Pascal or C++) and I'm sure cutting edge features lag behind but if you're making an app for all 3 platforms you could do a lot worse.

    1. Lyndon Hills 1

      Re: A single language for all platforms does exist.

      Also Xamarin studio, if you're into c#.

  4. Justin O'Dwyer .

    Cross Platform Development can be fun

    There are quite a few tools and frameworks that'll help you develop cross platform apps from a single codebase (with perhaps some platform specific extensions).

    They're not magic bullets, but the amount of tweaking required for a specific target platform depends on the complexity of your application - it's perfectly possible to get a fairly simple CRUD app up and running on Android and iOS from a single codebase. Windows Phone is also supported, though I don't yet have personal experience of generating apps for this platform.

    If you're interested in learning more, I suggest checking out Cordova & its commercial sibling PhoneGap (the latter being supplied by Adobe); Appcelerator Titanium (a paid enterprise version is also available that offers a superset of Titanium's capabilities) is also worth checking out. HTML/CSS and JavaScript drive the front ends of apps built using the preceding options, but if you're more productive in the Microsoft environment, and do your coding in C# then maybe check out Xamarin.

    Other tools and platforms are available, I'm just representing my personal experience here so apologies if your personal favourite is better than those I've mentioned.

    Finally, I strongly recommend you check out Evothings workbench, which was developed as a tinker tool for IoT apps but is actually provides a very capable rapid prototyping environment for mobile apps. If Evothings instantly refreshing your app on multiple connected devices (because it detected you'd saved a change to one of your source files) doesn't make you smile, then I strongly suspect you need a hug. :)

  5. Ute Man

    Native development is a waste of time for corporates

    Just put a RESTful skin on your back end, and hack up an Angular front end on it, coat it with some mobile sugar like Cordova and you don't have to worry about deploying it to a bazillion devices, you just host it on your public facing website. Not only is it easier, you miss very little by having a non-native application unless you are developing a game. Most corporate apps are barely more than CRUD and reporting engines anyway.

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